Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Tuesday Blue Plate Special: Outlander
So I bought this oddly named book, Outlander, and rubbed my fingers over the slightly embossed thistle and crown on the cover. Since I'm also part Scots on my mum's side, I thought it might be fun to read something of the history of Scotland set to fiction.
I had no real expectations, despite the girl at the bookshop saying it was amazing. I'd been told that before, only to realize my taste in reading and other readers tastes can vastly differ.
To say I was floored by this epic story was an understatement. Only three times in my life have I read something that affected me so profoundly (Stranger In A Strange Land, and The Power of One). This work of fiction touched my soul, and I knew I would read the book again and again, in some special kind of literary pilgrimage. My old copy is so beat up, dog-earred, and the spine so cracked, anyone could tell at a glance it was a well read and loved up book.
A few years ago, I bought Outlander in ebook format to reread. It's just as great a story, but I admit something was lost in the feel of a real book in my hands, so I bought it again in paperback.
In celebration of one of my favorite books of all time (and the ever delicious Jaime Fraser) plus the new Starz mini series coming this month, I'm sharing some Scottish recipes today, both old and new.
Grandda's Scottish Shortbread
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup pure cane sugar
pinch of sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
In mixing bowl, place butter, salt, and sugar then mix on medium speed until well blended. Add flour and change setting to slow, mixing thoroughly.
Press thickened dough batter into a rectangular pan/jelly roll size. Prick cookie dough repeatedly (close together) with a fork making sure the fork hits bottom.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300º degrees and continue to bake for 40 additional minutes. Let cool for a few minutes, then cut shortbread into two inch long bars. Let cool to room temperature, then place on decorative tray or in treat bags or cookie jar. Servings 12.
For more Scotland-inspired tasty recipes, check out these links:
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